Safety considerations of systemic Janus kinase inhibitors in atopic dermatitis applications

J Dermatol. 2021 Nov;48(11):1631-1639. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.16116. Epub 2021 Aug 30.


Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are emerging treatments for atopic dermatitis (AD). Due to this novel role as a therapeutic option for patients with AD, we aimed to review current evidence on the pathophysiology and the safety and adverse effects (AEs) of oral JAK inhibitors for the treatment of AD utilizing the key terms atopic dermatitis, JAK inhibitors, and adverse effect or event. Our study indicated that oral JAK inhibitors have a moderate safety profile for use in AD in several reviews and phase II or III clinical trials. Headaches, nausea, and nasopharyngitis are the most commonly reported systemic AEs. Furthermore, acne, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, and eczema herpeticum are the most commonly recorded dermatological AEs. Current evidence indicates JAK inhibitors may also have less association with some of the serious AEs, although there is potential for increased risk of asthma, acute pancreatitis, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. Whereas data remain limited for the long-term safety of JAK inhibitor use in patients with AD, many ongoing clinical trials have promising preliminary results.

Keywords: Janus kinase inhibitor; adverse effect; atopic dermatitis; infection; malignancy; randomized control trial; systemic review; thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / drug therapy
  • Eczema*
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 1
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors* / adverse effects
  • Pancreatitis*


  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors
  • Janus Kinase 1